10/06/2009

Short French "holiday"

Although we've only been home for a week France is fast becoming a distant memory. The ten days away that included only three days on our own haven't actually done a lot to recharge my batteries and the amount of knitting has been inevitably small.

In fact I didn't have time to do much at all except eat, drink and attempt to tidy up the "garden". Oh yes...the garden....

On the plus side the roses this year were fantastic.

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and these had the most amazing perfume
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despite being some that have done their own thing for so long and now are completely wild, their flowers are only remarkable because there are so many but the smell reminds me of the rose petal scent we all used to make as children - and of the Iranian rose petal jam my friend brings me.

Actually the flowers are very similar to these of our newest rose - Rambling Rector I think it's called -
P1030363p and I think this is going to be as vigorous a climber as it is reputed to be. It was only planted last year and has already made a very good start.

It's very close to a pair of lime trees and it's always this time - end of May/beginning of June when the flowers start to open and their heady scent completely fills the air - as does the buzzing of the bees.
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But on the negative side we've been battling against these little pests.
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I'm sure those of you living in the south of the UK will recognise the rosemary leaf beetle. I hadn't ever seen this until this year - and it still hasn't appeared in our English garden.

And the lily beetle
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Both of these beetles are very destructive and can destroy completely the plant they're feeding on - or rather the plant that their larvae have fed on - and sadly neither seem to have any natural predator so the best we can do is to pick them off one by one and destroy them. The lily beetles are crafty little things - apparently when one is threatened it emits a high pitched sound that warns all the other beetles to hide and they all drop off the plant into the undergrowth out of sight.

But on a brighter side, these orchids grow wild in the dappled shade at the edge of our wood.
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and although they are late this year and when we left there were nowhere near as many as usual, at least they were there.

7 comments:

donnac1968 said...

What a beautiful orchid!

Sorry about the nasty pests though.

Jean said...

What an incredible garden, I loved every bit what you shared with us. The thought of a Rosemary beetle scares the heck out of me, my yard has many Rosemary shrubs, a few of them can get up to 8 feet tall (about 2 feet tall now). Haven't seen those yet and hope I never do. (I live in Southern California, maybe they do not dwell here).

RooKnits said...

I've been hunting out lily beetles in my garden - haven't seen any yet this year. At least they are red so fairly easy to spot.
didn't know about the Rosemary beetles - so I will keep an eye out for them. The orchid is glorious.

Anna said...

What a special garden. I love your roses and I might even be a little jealous. At the moment I only have a balcony and while I've planted out some balcony flowers and herbs I can't wait for the day when I'm able to have a proper garden for both flowers and veggies.
I hope you get the beetles under control, I wish I could offer some advice.

franney said...

Oh, beautiful garden photos Kathryn, thanks for sharing them <3
I particularly like the orchid too, would it grow in our climate or does it need the warmth of being a bit further south, do you know? (I'm in south /london so maybe not far enough south even though i have the rosemary beetle lol)

For those with lavender plants, i'm afraid the news is not that good as the rosemary beetle also likes a lavender plant! I must go out and pick all the "cuckoo spit" off mine as that helps to keep the numbers down :o(

Anna said...

Your flowers are simply stunning - I almost thought I could smell your roses through the screen! I'm not sure if I'm just not looking closely enough, but I've never noticed the rosemary beetle in our garden. I'm going to have a good look over the weekend, so thanks for the brilliant bug-identifying photos!

kathryn said...

Franney the orchids are completely wild - and I know they grow wild in England too - and in the Midlands so they don't need so much warmth. I don't think you can buy them for the garden and I don't even know how you can encourage them. Sorry...